Australia Changes Word in Anthem to Honor Indigenous People

Australia Changes Word in Anthem to Honor Indigenous People”

"It is time to ensure this great unity is reflected more fully in our national anthem", the Prime Minister said.

Indigenous athlete Cathy Freeman reacted joyfully to the news, saying she'd received a phone call from Scott Morrison about the updated lyrics. "It reaffirms our resolve as one of the world's oldest democracies, while honouring the foundations upon which our nation has been built and the aspirations we share for the future", the Prime Minister concluded.

"What a way to start the year!" she said.

Australians will sing a different version of their national anthem from 1 January after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a change to the words on Thursday.

Australia has struggled for decades to reconcile with Aborigines, who arrived on the continent some 50,000 years before British colonists.

Critics had argued the line was disrespectful to Aboriginal history as Indigenous people have been living in Australia for an estimated 60,000 years and have some of the oldest living cultures on earth.

While global borders remain closed, Mr Morrison provided an update on the number of stranded Australians who were able to safely return home.

"Changing "young and free" to "one and free" takes nothing away, but I believe it adds much".

'We were federated in 1901, 120 years ago today, ' he said on New Year's Day.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart was a 2017 call from Indigenous Australians that the government enshrine a First Nations voice in the constitution. We live in a timeless land of ancient first nation's peoples and we draw together the stories of more than 300 national ancestries and language groups.

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It was not long before those words proved true.

Mundine has always been a critic of the national anthem, however the change was welcomed by another Indigenous athlete, Cathy Freeman.

'It made me madder, you know what I mean - cause they ain't doin sh*t but talking sh*t, ' he told A Current Affair.

The anthem will no longer refer to Australia as "young and free" in an attempt to reflect the country's long indigenous history.

'Any blackfella who thinks what's been done is enough, and a good thing, is an Uncle Tom, ' he declared, offensively.

Peter Vickery, the founder and chair of the non-profit Representation In Anthem, has been campaigning for a more inclusive anthem since 2016.

Mr Vickery wants changes to verses two and three, to celebrate multiculturalism and values.

Until Friday, the song began: "Australians all let us rejoice, for we are young and free".

Before Australia's Rugby Championship clash against Argentina in December, a spine-tingling rendition of Advance Australia Fair was performed both in English and in the Eora language.

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